Protests across US set over officer Peter Liang’s conviction

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-15 1:18:01

More than 10,000 people will reportedly join rallies across the US next week to protest the conviction of a Chinese-American police officer for killing a man with a bullet which ricocheted, with the local Chinese-American community calling the verdict a "result of politics, not justice."

Peter Liang, a New York City police officer, was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday for killing Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old black man. Liang and his partner were conducting a patrol when his gun went off and the bullet glanced off a wall and hit Gurley in an unlighted stairwell.

"Some white police officers have accidentally killed unarmed people, too, but the punishment for them was lighter compared to the one Liang received. Liang should not be treated differently because of his race," Wang Tian, president of the Beijing Association in Los Angeles, who plans to organize protests over the conviction, told the Global Times on Sunday.

According to Wang, rallies will be held on February 20 in a dozen cities across the US. Over 10,000 people have answered the call as of press time.

The verdict is the latest in a series of cases in the US where unarmed black men were killed by police officers. It is also rare in which a police officer is convicted of manslaughter in the line of duty.

Meanwhile, chat groups have been formed on social media such as WeChat to support Liang, while dozens of Chinese-language media in the US have been providing commentary on the conviction.

John C. Liu, a former New York Council member who ran for mayor in 2013, called for "justice reform" and referred to Liang as an "Asian scapegoat" on his Twitter account a day after the conviction.

"The Chinese in the US are still a weak group. We don't have political muscle and are always discriminated on or victimized. We demand a fair trial for Liang, as well as a voice for the Chinese community," Wang said.

Liang may be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.

In 2014, an 18-year-old boy was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. The US Department of Justice cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting and announced that he would not be charged in the shooting.


Posted in: Society, Americas

blog comments powered by Disqus